Sazani Beach hotel was clearly a great place back in the day (if you look at the older reviews, it sounds like the management made this place very special). Sadly, it has become a shadow of its former self: it is very run down, the beach is dirty, it has an abandoned and disheveled feel, and it desperately needs major renovation.
Why didn't we just run a mile when we checked in (we were the only people staying there)? Because we were tired from a big trip, the location is amazing (the stretch of beach south and north of the hotel is fantastic), and because we kind of liked having the entire place to ourselves. We also vaguely enjoyed the challenge of making sure we still enjoyed ourselves despite the lodgings!
OK, so here is what we did not find appealing: the mosquito nets were old, musty, and full of holes (solution: we put tape over the holes), the room was really damp smelling (solution: burn incense), and there was trash littered around the hotel and the beach (solution: we tried to clean it up ourselves).
The whole place reminded us a little of a dirtier and unkempt version of Derek Jarman's famous garden (http://www.flickr.com/photos/angusf/sets/656542/).
There were, however, a few nice touches: flowers on our bed when we arrived and more flowers when the room was made up in the morning; good breakfasts.
All in all, however, we recommend that you stay elsewhere.
In fact, you should spend just $40 more per night and stay next door at the lovely Ras Nungwe, a gorgeously designed luxury boutique hotel that is impeccable (you feel as if you're in a Travel and Leisure magazine as you wander round the grounds). One of the reasons we enjoyed our stay at Sazani is that we basically hung out at Ras Nungwe: we had lunch there one day, and dinner another, which gave us permission to hang out by the pool and take advantage of all the freebies (cookies in the afternoon, cocktails and appetizers by the pool in the evening).
We also had a terrific day of snorkeling, arranged by Sazani (they have some really lovely and helpful staff; it really is a terrible shame that the hotel has gone to ruin).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Feel like a castaway at our 10 room beach lodge, a perfect paradise for beach lovers, kite surfers and divers. An oasis of calm just five minute taxi ride from Nungwi's busy strip of music bars and hotels. Our bungalows are designed in a traditional Swahili style with coconut thatch roofs in a tropical garden setting, each with a sea view and sandy path down to our secluded pristine beach and the turquoise ocean. Stay with us and help us to develop our sustainability ethos to be an environmentally and socially responsible lodge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sazani Beach Lodge Zanzibar Island/Nungwi